Hong Kong police fired at least two live shots at protesters during early morning clashes on Monday (Nov 11), live broadcast footage showed.
The incident happened after 7am in the Sai Wan Ho district east of Hong Kong’s main island, where protesters had heeded a call to block roads and build barricades.
Footage showed a police officer drawing his sidearm as he tried to detain a masked man at a road junction that had been blocked by protesters.
Another masked man then approached the officer and was apparently shot in the chest area, quickly falling to the ground, clutching his left side. Some reports said he was shot in the abdomen. His condition was not clear.
Seconds later, two more live rounds were fired by the officer during a scuffle and another masked man went to the ground, although the footage was less clear as to whether he was struck.
Police could later be seen detaining the two men on the ground. The first man had a pool of blood next to him, his body limp as officers moved him around and apparently tried to tie his hands. The second man was conscious and talking.
A police source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to AFP that live rounds were fired at more than one protester in Sai Wan Ho and that a statement would be issued.
Local broadcaster RTHK said a live video posted by ‘Cupid News’ showed at least one protester shot at close range. Police had fired three shots.
HK01 reported that at around 7.30am, police cordoned off the main roads in Sai Wan Ho after firing two shots which hit two individuals.
The protesters in Sai Wan Ho were among the various groups across the city who sought to disrupt traffic as part of a planned strike on Monday, crippling multiple MTR lines and affecting major roads.
At about 7.45am, police had also fired tear gas and rubber bullets in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology after facing off with protesters who had built barricades in the school.
Similar scenes were also unfolding in Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hung Hom. Protesters have blocked off Hong Chong Road next to the university, which leads to the busy Cross Harbour Tunnel linking Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. Traffic is backed up all the way across Hong Kong Island to Aberdeen in the south.
Train services have been suspended at multiple stations, including Tung Chung, Whampoa, all stations between Tai Wai and Shek Mun. There are no services between Fo Tan and Lok Ma Chau on the east rail, some light rails have been delayed and there was a fire in Kwai Fong station.
Local media reported massive queues and long delays in various stations.
The Labour Department on Monday urged employers to have flexible work arrangements for staff given the situation, while police said in a statement it is moving to clear the protesters.
The police said radicals blocked the Cross Harbour Tunnel at Hung Hom towards Hong Kong Island direction, Tate’s Cairn Tunnel at Shatin towards Diamond Hill direction and at Tuen Mun Road near Castle Peak Road towards Kowloon direction.
The call for a strike and class boycott comes after a day of angry clashes in the New Territories and Kowloon. The confrontations lasted into the small hours of Monday morning in Mong Kok, where police even deployed a water cannon.
Police said as at 11.30pm on Sunday, 88 people were arrested for offences including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapon, criminal damage, and using facial covering while at an unlawful assembly.